Basic Boba (Fett) Tea

May 4: Star Wars Day

Not only is Islander a fan of Star Wars, but she is a fan of boba tea (specifically jasmine green milk tea with golden tapioca pearls)—so much so that she gave it up for Lent one year, which was a challenge because there are several boba tea places around town! Her Taiwanese ESL student taught her how to make boba tea at home, which is cheaper, and we can control how much ice and sweetness levels to put in our boba beverage.

Boba in the tea sounds like “bubble” because of the bubble-like tapioca pearls. Boba Fett, a bounty hunter, is the name of one of the favorite characters in the Star Wars film franchises. He was the muse for our traditional Taiwanese drink recipe for today. Add a few drops of grayish-green food coloring to match Boba Fett’s outfit and it becomes a more festive food for Star Wars Day!


(From YaJu Y.)


  • 6-8 tea bags (jasmine, green, black, oolong, chair tea—any strong tea)
  • 1 cup quick cooking golden tapioca pearls
  • Water (to steep the tea and to boil the boba)
  • Sweetener (sugar, honey or simple syrup-see Notes), to taste
  • ½ cup milk (half-and-half, cream, soy, nut or non-dairy creamer)
  • Ice (optional)


Boil 4 cups water for the tea. Steep the tea in a large bowl for 10-20 minutes (depending on personal desired strength and taste of the tea). Remove and discard the tea bags and cool to room temperature. In a large pot, boil the water and cook the tapioca pearls according to the package directions. Drain and rinse in a colander.

Add sweetener to the tea bowl to taste (more or less a tablespoon). Stir in the milk. In two tall glasses, add ice and tapioca pearls. Pour in the milk tea. Serve with tall spoon or fat straw.


  • To make simple syrup, boil equal parts water and sugar until dissolved. Let cool completely. May be stored in a bottle in the refrigerator until ready to sweeten the boba tea.
  • Avoid cooking the tapioca pearls too early or they will harden and dry out when cool and not be chewy. Always use freshly cooked boba for the tea recipe.
  • Be careful not to choke on your aspirations when slurping up the pearls in the straw.
  • Hunt for a bounty of other Star Wars-inspired recipes under our Theme Menus page. May the 4th be with you—and with your spirit!